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Bleeding London [Mass Market Paperback]

Geoff Nicholson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 1998
Mick is on his way to the Smoke from the provinces. He's got six guys to find with only their names to go on and no more help than the phone book and an A-Z. Stuart is determined to walk each of the capital's roads, streets and alleyways. But what will he do when there's nothing left of his A-Z but blacked out pages? Judy is set on creating her own unique map of each of the metropolis' boroughs ...an A-Z of sex in the city. Three strangers in search of London's heart and soul, mapping out their stories from Acton to Hackney, Chelsea Harbour to Woolwich, in a comic dance of sex and death.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Library Journal

A journey of revenge takes Mick Wilton to London, whose streets he stumbles through as he searches for six men said to have raped his girlfriend. Also out prowling is Stuart London, a man obsessed with walking every street of the city whose name he bears. A Japanese-British woman named Judy Tanaka, who works in a bookstore specializing in London lore, is avid to add more lovers to her personalized map of sexual conquests. How, why, and when these three characters meet makes for a circuitous ramble through England's great city. Mick's acts of revenge, which vary from cruel to comic to kinky, will not please everyone, yet oddly enough by the story's end, most readers will find themselves respecting him as an ethical man. A book whose setting becomes as much a character as the people who pepper its pages, Bleeding London is dark, droll, and suspenseful. British author Nicholson has ten novels to his credit, including Still Life with Volkswagens (LJ 8/95). Recommended for general fiction collections.?Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The prolific Nicholson's (Footsucker, 1996, etc.) 11th novel is a savagely funny, wayward, loving celebration of London's enchantments and strangeness. The power of an ancient city to seduce is demonstrated in the lives of three vividly particularized characters: Mick, a bright, laconic tough from Sheffield who has come to London seeking revenge on a group of men who, he believes, raped his stripper girlfriend; Judy, a young woman of mixed parentage (her father is Japanese, her mother British) attempting to make this city she obsessively loves her own; and Stuart, the urbane, self-satisfied head of an agency that offers an exotic array of walking tours. Anxious to find some new way to demonstrate his idiosyncratic mastery of London, Stuart hits on the idea of walking every one of its streets, a project that--if he walks ten miles a day, five days a week--should take some three years. Mick, meanwhile, who at first has a provincial's undisguised dislike and distrust of the vast, chaotic city, finds himself disturbed and intrigued by it as he goes in search of his miscreants. These parallel quests, each increasingly quixotic, allow Nicholson to poke satiric fun at London's citizens, catalogue some lively fragments of its history and geography, and anatomize the ways in which we make a city our own. In the end, Mick finds himself liberated by the possibilities of life in the city; Stuart, made arrogant by his supposed mastery of it, is grimly humbled; and Judy hits upon a weirdly transcendent way of making herself permanently one with it. The plot takes a while to build up speed, and the unfiltered blizzard of facts about London is sometimes dizzying, but Nicholson's satirical eye, his obvious love of the city, and his skill at fielding odd, convincing characters overcome any problems. A delightful fiction, and a wonderfully exasperated love letter to a great city. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive characters in an engaging story Oct. 9 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I had severe reservations about buying this book. Although being disuaded by the photo of the author on the cover is not reason enough, the thought of another book wrapped up in romantic idealism about any city, let alone London, is enough to make anyone reconsider the purchase. Fortunately I was clearly destined to read it. As a Londoner I was desperate to find a reason to dislike this book, yet I could not. The characters are totally original, easy to relate to and incredibley funny. They would probably carry the weakest of story lines anyway, yet Nicholsons dark, paranoid and twisting story makes this a book even better I ever hoped, even the most cynical reader would totally love it. Personally I think that London is probably the greatest city in world, and this book does nothing to negate that. Only in London could the dangerous, brooding situations that arise seem so ridiculously hilarious. Even a Londoner looking for something a little bit different will love it - just don`t judge a book by the picture of the author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A dark delight! Feb. 12 2001
Format:Hardcover
Bleeding London is one of the quirkiest, darkest and funniest novels I have ever read! (That says a lot, for I have read thousands of novels.) It focuses on various characters whose experiences in London are both sinister and funny. Mick, Judy and Stuart are quite different, but are somehow brought together in strange ways. They all have a different take on London -- Londoners feeling foreign in their natural habitat while out-of-towners see it as an exciting and daring challenge.
Nicholson does a great job with the description of a big city. As a New York City native, I am able to identify with the story line and the dark message the author is sending. The backdrop of London is different from all of the other British novels I have read -- it shows a more realistic view of the city.
Thought provoking and darkly funny, Bleeding London should be read by those who enjoy a unique literary experience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars London Calling Feb. 8 2000
By A. Ross
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This wonderful novel is ideally enjoyed while living in or visiting London, seeing as how the city is a central character in it. With his typical offbeat humor, Nicholson weaves together the lives and stories of three of its denizens. Stuart is the owner of a company that does walking tours of London; burned out, he has decided to walk every single street in London in a quest for fulfillment and meaning. Julie is a native Londoner, although half-Japanese and thus is constantly being forced to prove herself a native. She keeps detailed maps of the locations of all her sexual encounters, as well as those of her partners. Mick is a Sheffielder whose stripper girlfriend was gang-raped by six well-to-do Londoners. He's come down to the unfamiliar city he hates in order to mete out some revenge. Both these and the supporting cast are wonderfully drawn characters, their paths through London are a treat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Throughly engrossing and entertaining Nov. 14 1998
Format:Hardcover
I just finished an uncorrected proof of this book. I had a hard time putting it down. Mr. Nicholson's writing is very visual. The characters were so well written (even the minor ones) that I not only could picture them in my mind I felt that I have actually met a few of them in my lifetime. I could not say that the book was wickedly funny. But I did found myself reacting out loud on the subway. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cities. This book doesn't only describe people's love and or hate of London but touches upon emotions felt by anyone who has spent some time if not all their lives in a large city. I have never heard of Geoff Nicholson before but look forward to running into (maybe seeking out) his work again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sexy and highly entertaining. Jan. 14 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have never been to London nor am I interested in the city. However, I don't feel lost at all when reading this superb fiction. This isn't a book about London per se. It doesn't feel like a travel book at all. The stories could easily take place elsewhere in the world, New York, Los Angeles, Paris... I've read Footsucker by Nicholson which, by the way, is also a highly enjoyable book. Bleeding London, in comparison with Footsucker, is more complex and more involved. Three seemingly unrelated eccentric characters are manifesting their eccentricities in parallel, and sometimes their path are crossed. Nicholson is quite skillful in writing black comedies. If you're interested in his books, this is a good starting point.
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